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  1. ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in nearly all universities transitioning their in-person courses to online instruction. Recent work from our research team conducted in Spring 2020 established that the immediate transition to online learning presented novel challenges for students with disabilities: students were unable to access previously established accommodations and there was a lack of information from Disability Resource Centers (DRCs) about adapting accommodations to online environments. In this study, we aimed to determine the extent to which these issues still were present 1 year later. In Spring 2021, we conducted a survey of 114 students with disabilities who were registered with the DRC and taking online science courses at a public research-intensive institution. We used our previous interviews with students to develop closed- and open-ended questions to assess the extent to which students with disabilities were being properly accommodated in their courses, document any new accommodations they were using, and elicit any recommendations they had for improving their experiences in online science courses. We used logistic regression to analyze the closed-ended data and inductive coding to analyze the open-ended data. We found that more than half of students with disabilities reported not being properly accommodated, and this was moremore »likely to be reported by students who experienced new challenges related to online learning. When students were asked what accommodations they would have wanted, students often described accommodations that were being offered to some students but were not universally implemented. This study summarizes recommendations for making online science learning environments more inclusive for students with disabilities.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 29, 2023
  2. Momsen, Jennifer (Ed.)
    The COVID-19 pandemic caused nearly all colleges and universities to transition in-person courses to an online format. In this study, we explored how the rapid transition to online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic affected students with disabilities. We interviewed 66 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) undergraduates with disabilities at seven large-enrollment institutions during Spring 2020. We probed to what extent students were able to access their existing accommodations, to what extent the online environment required novel accommodations, and what factors prevented students from being properly accommodated in STEM courses. Using inductive coding, we identified that students were unable to access previously established accommodations, such as reduced-distraction testing and note-takers. We also found that the online learning environment presented novel challenges for students with disabilities that may have been lessened with the implementation of accommodations. Finally, we found that instructors making decisions about what accommodations were appropriate for students and disability resource centers neglecting to contact students after the transition to online instruction prevented students from receiving the accommodations that they required in STEM courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study illuminates current gaps in the support of students with disabilities and pinpoints ways to make online STEM learning environmentsmore »more inclusive for students with disabilities.« less
  3. Spell, Rachelle (Ed.)
    Undergraduate research is one of the most valuable activities an undergraduate can engage in because of its benefits, and studies have shown that longer experiences are more beneficial. However, prior research has illuminated that undergraduates encounter challenges that may cause them to exit research prematurely. These studies have been almost exclusively conducted at research-intensive (R1) institutions, and it is unclear whether such challenges are generalizable to other institution types. To address this, we extended a study previously conducted at public R1 institutions. In the current study, we analyze data from 1262 students across 25 public R1s, 12 private R1s, 30 master’s-granting institutions, and 20 primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) to assess 1) to what extent institution type predicts students’ decisions to persist in undergraduate research and 2) what factors affect students’ decisions to either stay in or consider leaving their undergraduate research experiences (UREs) at different institution types. We found students at public R1s are more likely to leave their UREs compared with students at master’s-granting institutions and PUIs. However, there are few differences in why students enrolled at different institution types consider leaving or choose to stay in their UREs. This work highlights the importance of studying undergraduate research acrossmore »institutions.« less